Also known as: tonsil removal, surgical removal of the tonsils.

What is tonsillectomy?

Tonsillectomy is the surgical removal of the tonsils. It is a common surgery used to treat obstructive sleep apnea, sleep disordered breathing and recurrent tonsillitis.

What happens during the procedure?

Tonsillectomy is performed under general anesthesia. The surgery is performed through the mouth and takes about 30 minutes to complete.

Is any special preparation needed?

The patient will be instructed to avoid food, drink and certain medications before the surgery.

What are the risk factors?

Infection, bleeding, swelling, difficulty eating or swallowing, and injury to surrounding structures are potential risks of tonsillectomy.

Reviewed by: Sandeep P Dave, MD

This page was last updated on: January 25, 2021 04:04 PM

Pediatric Otolaryngology (ENT)

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Pharyngitis and Tonsillitis

Pharyngitis and tonsillitis are infections of the throat region. In general, pharyngitis refers to an infection of the throat, whereas tonsillitis refers to an infection specifically of the tonsils. If both the throat and the tonsils are infected, it is called pharyngotonsillitis. Learn more


Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils, which are a pair of oval-shaped pads that rest at the back of the throat. Tonsillitis can cause a number of problematic symptoms and tends to recur in many people. Learn more